BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The Brevard Zoo is working to help boost the population of the critically endangered Florida grasshopper sparrow by breeding and then releasing the birds back into the wild.
This breeding season, the zoo said they hatched 65 chicks, which is up from 47 last season.
“Our successful breeding season is great for our sparrows in human care because it means we can continue diversifying the genetics of the sparrows we’re breeding and releasing every year,” said conservation coordinator Kelly Currier.
Brevard Zoo is part of a collaborative conservation effort to save this species with the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow Working Group, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, United States Air Force, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Archbold Biological Station. Zoo officials said these birds are only in a few areas of Central and South Florida, and in 2021 only around 100 members of their species were found in their natural range.
Zoo officials said most of the 65 birds hatched this year have been released back into their natural range. The youngest of the chicks remain in the zoo’s behind-the-scene habitat to mature a bit more before they’re also released.
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